On November 10, 2022, at 6:20 p.m., Detroit Police officers responded to a 911 call at the home of Kazia Miller, 27, of Detroit, in the 15770 block of Meyers Road. The call was placed by the mother of Ms. Miller because she was having a mental health crisis and behaving violently. Ms. Miller's mother and grandmother were at the house visiting Ms. Miller's children, ages one and seven, on that date and time.
During the 911 call, Ms. Miller's mother said that she and the seven-year-old grandson were "jumped on" by her daughter. The child was injured, and his lip was bleeding. Ms. Miller's mother and grandmother had just escaped after Ms. Miller had tried to lock them in the house. The mother was distraught and stated that Ms. Miller was schizophrenic and had hit her young son and caused him to bleed. She was also fearful because the children were inside with Ms. Miller who was armed with weapons and had come out of the home with a gun. Ms. Miller's mother called 911 again at 6:26 p.m., stating, "There is a felon with a gun, and she pointed it at me. Come quickly. It's my daughter and she is in crisis."
The police run to DPD went out as "Mental/Violent Person". The police arrived on the scene where Ms. Miller's mother was waiting.
A review of video footage, the officers' reports, and Ms. Miller's cell phone shows that there were several officers that spoke with Ms. Miller through a locked security door, one of whom was trained in crisis intervention. The officers attempted to persuade Ms. Miller to let them inside the house to talk, or to open the door and let the officers see how her children were doing. The officers let her know that they wanted to make sure Ms. Miller was safe because her mother called them. In a recording on Ms. Miller's cellphone, she says that the person they spoke to is not her mother.
A stand-off with Ms. Miller ensued. The police were in contact with Ms. Miller's mother by phone from her car during this time. She informed them that Ms. Miller was suicidal, had threatened to kill her children, and to shoot the police. The police informed Ms. Miller that they could not leave until they knew that the children were safe. Officers were at the front of the house speaking to Ms. Miller. As the stand-off continued, the officers observed Ms. Miller with a gun. Ms. Miller informed the police that she had a weapon, and that they could "shoot it out."
Ms. Miller eventually unlocked the front security door and came out onto her porch. At this time, the officers did not breach the doors. She and Officer 1 had a verbal exchange. Immediately after this exchange, Officer 1 and Officer 2 rushed the door and made entry at 7:37 p.m.
Once inside the police instructed Ms. Miller to freeze and drop the gun. Officer 1's body worn camera (BWC) footage shows that he was speaking with her when they rushed the door. Officer 1 indicates that Ms. Miller did not drop the gun and that he struggled over it with her during the shooting.
The BWC footage is dark and struggling noises can be heard. Officer 1 reported that when he tried to gain control of the weapon, she turned the barrel of the gun toward his head. As they continued to struggle, she hit Officer 1's head with the gun and he heard multiple gunshots. Officers 3, 4, and 5 opened fire in defense of Officers 1 and 2 and themselves. Ms. Miller was shot in her upper left arm and twice in her left side. BWC footage shows a gun under her hand on a stair.
Officers called out that shots had been fired and Officers 1 and 2 check to see if they have been injured. Officer 2 was uninjured and went to an EMS truck for medical assistance for Ms. Miller. She was transported to a local hospital and later pronounced deceased. Officer 6 went to the seven-year-old boy who was upstairs holding his one-year-old sibling. Officer 1 was transported to a local hospital for a head injury and a hematoma. He was treated and released later that day.
Under Michigan law a person can act in self-defense or defense of others if there is an honest and reasonable belief that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death, or imminent bodily harm to himself or another individual. Under the facts of this case there is insufficient evidence to charge the officers, their actions were justified.